In 1st Corinthians 4, Paul is talking about overcoming and defeating the comparison trap and judgmentalism. Anytime you play the comparison game, you are going to lose because you are always going to find somebody who is doing better than you and it is going to make you feel worse about yourself. Or you will find somebody you are doing better than, and that will puff you up with pride. Pride always comes before a fall. So, either way, it is a losing game.
How do we defeat comparison and judgmentalism? That is what Paul is talking about in 1st Corinthians chapter 4:1-2.
“This then is how you ought to regard us, as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now, it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
This is about ministry. This is about serving and service. If you want to overcome the comparison trap and judging others or feeling judged, then you need to choose to serve God today by serving others.
At The Connection Church, we know this: Every member is a minister. Everyone who is a part of our church family is a minister. Now, you may not be a pastor, but you are a minister.
I like to think of ministry in the church like a football stadium where you have got 20,000 fans in the stands, who are badly in need of exercise, cheering on 22 players on the field, who are badly in need of some rest! That is what it is like in the church sometimes, Everybody in the church is shouting, “Go Pastor! Go Staff! You can do it!” and the staff is saying, “Join me! Come out on the field! Let us do this together! It takes all of us!” As long as we are following that mindset then we need to remember that the pastors are like coaches. I love cheering you on, coaching, resourcing you, equipping you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
The church should be a launchpad for your ministry so you can fulfill God’s purpose in your life.
There are three keywords in 1st Corinthians 4:1-2. The first word is “servants.” It is all about serving. Paul says, “We are servants of Christ.” Who do we serve? Who are we living for? We are living for an audience of One! I can’t please everybody today, but I can please Jesus. You can please Him when you choose to live for Him and serve Him. The way you serve Jesus is by serving other people.
At The Connection Church, there are no small ministries. Everything we do is important. It all works together. At The Connection Church, we have a saying: “Anything, everything, or Nothing at all.” So that means, I am willing, I step up and I say, “Whatever it takes, I am going to do that. I will do anything. I will do it all or I will do nothing at all. I will sit on the sidelines if that is what it takes.” And that can be a heart issue and it works on our pride because we want a certain role or certain recognition. But it’s okay if I need to sit a week out, or sit on the sidelines for a season.
Then the second word is “entrusted.” Paul writes, “And as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.” As a minister and as a servant, you have been entrusted. You have been given a trust. When God gives you a mission and He gives you something to do, then it is in your hands. And if you don’t do it, then that specific part of the mission may go unfulfilled.
What God has called you to do is specific through the spiritual gifts that He has given you. If you are a believer and a follower of Jesus, then you have the Holy Spirit indwelling your heart and your life, and He has given you at least one spiritual gift. You also have certain passions that you care deeply about that others don’t care about as much. What natural abilities do you have? How is your personality wired? And what have you been through? Your experiences include your education and all that God has led you through.
God never wastes a hurt. Those hurts are wasted if you don’t employ them in ministry and if you don’t learn from them. We learn from the school of hard knocks, and if we don’t learn the first lesson then sometimes we have to go back and we have to repeat the same lesson over and over again.
You have been entrusted with the good news of Jesus. You have experienced Jesus. You know Jesus. And now that is entrusted to you to share that with the people around you and to share that in other ways, even as you engage on social media or in your personal conversations.
The third word is “faithful.” Paul writes, “Now, it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Are you being faithful to fulfill the ministry and the calling that God has on your life? I know so many people who say, “I am not that influential. I am not that knowledgeable.” The truth is, you are not all that. I am not all that. But God has chosen to use you, call you. Are you being faithful to the call?
Being faithful means consistency for the long haul. Faithfulness means that I am going to be consistent and consistently keep my eyes on God’s calling, on Jesus, and on being faithful with the opportunities that God has placed in front of me.
I want to be faithful and I want to encourage you to stay faithful. It is especially hard right now as we are going through this season. Fear causes us to shrink back from our calling. There is the uncertainty that causes us to shrink back from our calling. God’s calling on your life has not changed. God has his hand on you. He has been faithful to you in the past, and He will continue to be faithful to you in your future.
If you have not been living out that calling then you can begin doing that today. If we can help you live out your calling, let me know because I want to come alongside you and help. We are stronger and better together!
If you want to know more about service and ministry opportunities through The Connection Church, you can find more info by clicking here.
The Baker, David Riordan
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